Nicholas Haslam


Design For Living

How about some respect for interior decorators?


Schlock teaser

The somewhat straightlaced theatre-going audiences of 1880s America, eager for performances by European artistes like Jenny Lind and solid, home-grown, classical actors such as Otis Skinner, were hardly prepared for the on-stage vulgarity that the (usually) Russian and Polish immigrant impressarios, with their particular nous for show-biz, were to unleash into the saloons and fleapits across the young nation.


What a difference a gay makes

Edmund White is among the most admired of living authors, his oeuvre consisting of 20-odd books of various forms — novels, stories, essays and biographies — though each one is imbued with his preferred subject, homosexuality.

All the Men’s Queen

It is entirely possible that nobody, not even perhaps Queen Elizabeth herself, has ever known what she was really like, so great the charm, the smiling gaze, the gloved arm, the almost wistful voice, the lilting politeness, yet so strong the nerve, so dogged the spirit, so determined the trajectory.

Salt of the earth

As a young girl in Athens, Maria Callas would watch the films of the extraordinary Hollywood actress Deanna Durbin, and, entranced by that child-star’s utterly perfect voice, vowed to become an opera singer. A couple of decades later la diva divina went backstage at a New York theatre to congratulate another former child star with an equally perfect voice on her performance in her major Broadway triumph. The triumph was My Fair Lady, and the star was Julie Andrews.

Getting a kick

Nicky Haslam on Geoffrey Mark's biography of Ethel Merman


Around the world in 80 years

Two summers ago at La Rondinaia, during one of those last evenings before he flew from his sky-high eyrie for…

Essex girl goes West

This highly entertaining and self-deprecating autobiography should dispel the myth, however craftily put about by the boy himself, that its…

Marriage à la mode

It is surely rare to find a book that describes a marriage with such breathtaking intimacy as Diana Melly does…

Brilliance and bathos

That most astute of reviewers, Lynn Barber, recently wrote of this curiously bloodless biography that the subject is a minor…